Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Guru Musings for a Monday Morning -- Or Later

By Mel Greenberg

Hello all, this is basically a courtesy post since traffic here seems to have increased recently and the Guru felt a little pressure to get on the stick with new material that basically is filled with old news in a different perspective. (Did I just write that?)

Since the Guru's last appearance in this blog a week ago when former Notre Dame associate head coach Coquese Washington was named the new coach of Penn State, the coaching carousel has spun a little more.

Incidentally, some office types here are curious as to how Coquese's parents came up with her name at birth.

The most recent news, which will appear on other sites courtesy of wires services among others by the time you are reading this, is that Eastern Michigan coach Suzy Merchant is expected to be named at Michigan State, succeeding Joanne P. McCallie, who has moved on to Duke.

Earlier in the week, just for the record here, LSU assistant Christie Sides under the previous staff of Pokey Chatman, has decided decided to leave the Tigers and new coach Van Chancellor.

On Friday former Baylor assistant and previously Texas associate head coach Karen Aston was named at North Carolina Charlotte. That means, for now, Rutgers associate head coach Jolette Law, who also interviewed, will remain with C. Vivian Stringer, who got a little richer in her contract extension at mid-week.

The Atlantic Ten, Big Ten, and Southeastern Conferences may have to hold getting-to-know-you sessions at the start of their annual spring meetings in May.

George Washington coach Joe McKeown, who was mentioned as a potential draft candidate during the Penn State search, remarked to the Guru, "I used to be the best point guard in this league. But I might have become the worst."

McKeown's remark had nothing to with his leg injury during practice early in the season, but rather the influx of former point guards as coaches in the Atlantic Ten since the turn of the century.

That group now includes Temple's Dawn Staley, St. Joseph's Cindy Anderson, and the recently-hired former Penn State star Suzie McConnell-Serio at Duquesne.

Elsewhere last week, former Penn State assistant Susan Robinson Fruchtl was hired at St. Francis of Pennsylvania. The athletic director there, incidentally, had once served at Penn State.

Former St. Joseph's assistant Lynn Milligan was hired at Rider, while former Mississippi coach Carol Ross, under the season's category of surprise departures, resigned and was replaced by assistant coach Renee Ladner.

Most of the jobs appear near filled, although Illinois, after the departure of Theresa Grentz, is perhaps the last major opening that exists, based on a wire services chart that's been sitting near the Guru's office computer.

All of these transactions in April has in some regards eclipsed WNBA training camp activity as the pro league begins exhibition games later this week.

Besides being overshadowed by the collegiate activity, the fact that many key personnel are still in Europe, has also had an impact on the flow of news, excepted where daily interest exists in the WNBA's 13 franchise cities.

The switch during the summer activity should begin to flick shortly.

BTW, not women's basketball, but if you visit Philly.com, the umbrella site for The Inquirer and Daily News here as well as its own self-produced content, you can see Jonathan's video work at the Penn Relays last weekend here at Franklin Field.

The opening credit in both clips is solid and professional looking. But the Guru alerts that one should also have a few headache pills on hand while trying to view the clip of the crowd during an event once the screen switches to the action.

Rule One: Hold the camera steady. The interview clip, however, was much improved.

So much for the Guru's film review.

Road to Knoxville Planning Accelerates

Meanwhile, the Guru's appearance here may be interspersed the next few weeks, unless news warrants it, since he is in the process of being transformed into a living museum for next month's induction ceremonies for the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame ceremonies in Knoxville.

When Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma was inducted in both Knoxville and at the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., last season, he noted that it is important to enjoy the moment and mentioned about people that get inducted but who, unfortunately, are no longer living to enjoy the festivities.

Based on the Guru's current experience, the up-side of Auriemma's remark is that if you're not around, you don't have to participate in the planning.

Which, for convenience sake because of trying to play catch-up, those of you who can't get to Knoxville but would like to attend the "Philadelphia" party here a week or so later, which may have to be a two-site event, depending on interest, email the Guru at mgreenberg@phillynews.com with your mailing address and/or email address so the paper can send formal invitations at the appropriate time.

In the subject line, simply say Guru-WBHOF so I can store them in a special electronic folder. Also, if you have plans to go to Knoxville, let me know so I can pass along info for seating purposes at the ceremony. There are some cheap airfares out there at the moment, based on Karen Tucker's work at the Hall on setting the itinerary for the six inductees. The Marriott next door also has a block rate of $75 a night and there is a strong chance we might add an extra on-site dress-down party that Thursday night for early arrivals.

Those details to follow soon.

Our office party planner here has a sharp object to the Guru's head to play catch-up this week, besides the one being sent long-distance by Karen, and start compiling an email list. I'd give you our planner's address here for direct communication but I don't want to clog her email in-box and also this is a matter of safety in case the Guru's memory slips during the guest compilation.

The Philly event will also be used to note the Guru's recent decade crossing that Jonathan mentioned several weeks ago, whether the Guru likes it or not.

That's it for now

-- Mel


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know I'm biased, since I am from Northwest Ohio, but isn't it somewhat mind-boggling that Bowling Green's Curt Miller hasn't been hired for one of the many big-time jobs that have come open this offseason? Again, as a BGSU fan, I'm glad we still have him, but it makes no sense to me.

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